Dr. Mom, My Adventures as a Mommy-Scientist

Discussion of my journey from grad school to postdoc to tenure with two kids, a husband, (and a bit of breast cancer) in tow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When in a hole, stop digging

So from my last few posts you can probably tell that things are a little crazy. I have been complaining about all this to my husband, on the nights that he isn't in school, and he keeps telling me the same thing:

When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is stop digging.

It really makes a lot of sense, but what happens when you think you see a nice shiny treasure just *one* more layer down...

I don't really want to scale back my existing commitments, only refuse to take on new ones. For example, my husband suggested that I give up being an asst. Daisy troop leader, but to me this is an important component of my balance. It is something that is important to me, that I derive a great deal of pleasure from, and that allows me to connect with my daughter in a special way. I would rather give up the review article I am writing than the troop.

I think it is really, really hard to stop digging. This is probably why mentors at the successful women seminars almost always say their best piece of advice is learning to say no. And being a professor is like being at a buffet with limitless choices. Want to teach..you can do as much or as little as you like (well of course there is some required course load, and a minimal effort required to not be fired). Want to do outreach, bring it on we need more people like you. You can do outreach at any level preK-graduate. Want to do reasearch, well raise some money first, but then go to it.

And the thing is I want to do everything! I am sure that time and some delegation will eventually bring me to sanity, but right now I am finding it hard to put down the shovel.


At 4:36 PM , Blogger Janus Professor said...

A similar thing happened to hubby in the last year. He had to start saying no, but didn't know what to cut out. He made a list of everything on his plate, and cut out the one that was weighing him down the most : editing a special issue of a journal. Now, things are back to crazy-normal.

Are there any tasks that were dumped on you? Those might be the easiest relinquish. Whoever dumped it on you would understand, since it was probably a task that they didn't want to do in the first place.

At 6:58 PM , Blogger ScienceGirl said...

I think I should tattoo this on my forehead (and I am still just a grad student! who wants to do Everything!)


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